Nitish Kumar’s Janta Dal United (JD – U) dealt a blow to opposition on Wednesday when it finally announced it shall not back Congress led UPA if it supported any candidate in opposition to NDA’s Ram Nath Kovind. The choice of Kovind from NDA came as a shock to everyone as the BJP led ruling alliance chose a Dalit candidate for Presidency. Kovind also hails from the state of Bihar as he was the Governor of the state, before being announced the candidate for Presidential elections. Nitish Kumar, the Chief Minister of Bihar, met all his MLA’s and veteran Party Leader Sharad Yadav in Patna and the party reached the consensus to back NDA’s choice in form of Kovind.
Nitish Kumar reportedly endorsed the nomination of Kovind and told his MLAs in the meeting on Wednesday that Kovind, who was the Governor of the state, was a “good man”. JDU MLA and party chief whip Ratnesh Sada stated after the meeting on Wednesday to the reporters that the party had decided to support Ram Nath Kovind. It is being reported that the message of JD-U’s decision of backing the NDA candidate had already been sent to Opposition Leader and Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi as well as JDU’s alliance partner and RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav.
It is also to be noted that the Bihar Chief Minister has seemed inclined to the candidature of Kovind from the beginning. He was one of the first leaders to go to Governor House and congratulate Kovind on Monday. After meeting Kovind, Nitish Kumar reportedly stated to the media that as the Bihar Chief Minister, it was a matter of happiness for him and the state that their Governor was declared as the candidate for the next President of India.
On the other hand, another major UPA ally and BSP leader Mayawati has also not yet explicitly opposed Kovind as NDA’s candidate. She has stated that her party’s stand could not be negative towards a Dalit candidate for the post of the President. However, she made it clear that she and her party shall support Kovind in case UPA does not select any Dalit for the election.
The election for the post of the President shall only commence further of the opposition fields a candidate. The Opposition parties shall meet at the Parliament library today at around 4.30 pm to discuss NDA’s pick and select a consensus candidate from UPA. It is to be that parties with left ideologies are opposing nomination of a Dalit leader like Meira Kumar or Sushil Kumar Shinde. CPI leader D Raja has reportedly said that though they are averse to a Dalit name, they are waiting for Congress to decide on the issue.
The country shall bid goodbye to President Pranab Mukherjee on coming July 24, the presidential election shall be held before that on July 17 and the counting will be done on July 20th.